This weekend, with the price of a barrel of crude oil dancing around the C-note, Iowa's governor, Chet Culver announced he would lift safety restrictions on the most explosive trucks barreling along the Midwestern highways. For the next month or so, those rolling bombs will not be subject to one of the most practical (and still too weak) laws of safety, as the drivers will be allowed to drive past their bedtimes, as it were.
Truckers have limits on how many consecutive hours they can be behind the wheel of a rolling big rig for a reason. According to some experts, fatigue is the number one factor in fatal truck accidents. So, why allow trucking companies to override the one policy designed to prevent the majority of fatalities?
If Culver were serious about reducing the financial burden on commuters, should he not have gone to the state legislature and pressed them to drop a few taxes off the stuff? Instead, he offers a stopgap measure which, as relief, is unproven, and as a safety hazard, is clearly documented.
One might think Iowa's Culver has been studying Illinois politics, by the way he's reacting to the predictable price increase. On this side of the Big Muddy, we call it pandering. Over there, it could be lethal.